Over 1,000 convicts in UK Police force

A report has revealed that more than 1,000 people serving as British police officers have criminal records ranging from assault to burglary.

The data, obtained by the Liberal Democrats, showed 1,063 officers had criminal records, including 59 for assault, three for burglary and 93 for dishonesty, the Guardian daily reported Wednesday.

Since 2004, a further 210 officers have resigned or been dismissed from their jobs due to their convictions.

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesman, said the figures illustrated that police chiefs needed to 'get tough on bad apples' in their teams.

"I can't see how an officer convicted of dishonesty can perform duties effectively. Any prosecutor would be reluctant to call them as a witness for fear of being taken apart by the defense," he said.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) stated officers convicted of crimes would not automatically lose their jobs.

"Where an officer has committed misconduct, a range of disciplinary actions can be taken including a reprimand, fine and reduction in rank or dismissal. Each case is judged on its merits," Peter Fahy, the chief constable of Greater Manchester police, told the Sun newspaper.

According to the figures, the forces with the highest number of police with convictions are the Metropolitan police with 274 'bad apples', West Midlands with 121 and Strathclyde, 107. Merseyside has 82, while Manchester and Kent have 44. Grampian has 34 and South Wales 31.

The forces with the highest percentage of officers with criminal convictions are Merseyside and West Midlands, followed by the Metropolitan and South Wales police.